A Season in Hell: My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda
Robert R. Fowler
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
For decades, Robert R. Fowler was a dominant force in Canadian foreign affairs. In one heart-stopping minute, all of that changed. On December 14, 2008, Fowler, acting as the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Niger, was kidnapped by Al Qaeda, becoming the highest ranked UN official ever held captive. Along with his colleague Louis Guay, Fowler lived, slept and ate with his captors for nearly five months, gaining rare first-hand insight into the motivations of the world's most feared terror group. Fowler's capture, release and subsequent appearances have helped shed new light on foreign policy and security issues as we enter the second decade of the " War on Terror."
A Season in Hell is Fowler's compelling story of his captivity, told in his own words, but it's also a startlingly frank discussion about the state of a world redefined by clashing civilizations.
our throats. It’s a story that tends to stick in the mind. Throughout that epic nine-hundred-kilometre run south to Gao on Wednesday, 22 April, Louis refused to cede his position in the back. Shortly after our pre-dawn departure, we left whatever track we had been on the night before and set off cross-country. Baba was a genius at the wheel. He eschewed use of a GPS, navigating in this featureless moonscape by memory and feel and with confidence and aplomb. But neither he nor Chaffi was relaxed
those stirring words, written two centuries ago, and in my head I began to sketch this account around them. I have never been accused of being taciturn and when the excellent Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) doctors at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre in Germany urged me to share the story rather than keeping it bottled up inside, I had all the encouragement I needed. So, in keeping with my Ancient Mariner–like fixation with telling my tale, this book has already helped to
aggressively inquired how that book had come into our possession and we saw no reason to prevaricate, allowing that Suleiman had responded to our request for reading material. They were clearly not happy, though not only were we allowed to keep it but when we had finished reading it we were provided with the third volume. We never set eyes on the first or final parts of the series. At one point Suleiman walked by on one of the rare occasions we were able to wash our clothes. Observing this for a
with regard to the status of any negotiations. She had to satisfy herself, I said, that everything possible was being done, and being done expeditiously; that the government was using every channel, every contact, every friend, every wile to get us out of there. If she considered that more pressure were required, she would have to decide whether it made sense to engage our many friends in the media or to approach the parliamentary Opposition with a view to raising the profile of our desperate and
pass. The three trucks then scouted along the overlooking ridge at the back of the “U” and eventually found a practicable ramp down that skirted the left-hand wall of the valley, but the going was very hard. Soon we turned left into a canyon in the valley wall and, after more challenging driving, came to a stop at the point we could go no farther. Yet again we were led to a poor, thin tree, and left alone. Before long, however, we heard the dreaded sound of steel poles being hammered into hard